I felt a little weird making this recipe and using so many non traditional Italian flavors for a pasta salad. But pasta is such an awesome vehicle for any flavor. Plain pasta needs something, so it seems like it’d be okay to dress it up a bit and cross some culinary cultures.
Summer will be here soon – I promise East Coast friends – and with it comes parties, barbecues, picnics and pot-luck’s. I always like to turn up to these events with a giant bowl of pasta salad, just because it’ll hold up for a longer time than a green leafy dish. All you need to do is toss it with some tongs from time to time and it’ll look as good as it did when you arrived. I can guarantee you that this chicken pasta salad won’t be on the table for very long though. It’s a simple spaghetti pasta with a tamari and brown rice vinegar dressing and you can even leave the chicken out altogether or switch it with some roasted tofu chunks for a vegetarian option. Another option is to double the dressing recipe and pour it over some salmon, tofu or tempeh and bake it in the oven for a tasty dinner or salad topper!
Tamari is just like soy sauce, in fact it’s the Japanese version. Regular soy sauce is made from fermented soy beans but tamari is a by product of miso paste. Tamari is not as salty as soy sauce and is better for large quantity recipes, like this salad dressing or a marinade. This salad has a bit of a kick to it, fine for my dragon palate but you can cut back on the red chili flakes if you prefer a milder taste. As always keep things easy, buying a cooked rotisserie chicken is a great time saver and you can make the pasta and the dressing the night before, but don’t add the dressing until the last minute. Don’t worry if your pasta feels a little sticky after cooking ahead, once you add the rest of the ingredients and the dressing it’ll come back to it’s regular texture. You can toss the ingredients with some tongs but just dive right in with some (clean) hands and it’ll mix much better. It’s much more fun and less clean up!
Check out these other amazing chicken pasta salads!
Six Sisters Stuff- Italian Chicken Pasta Salad
Spend with Pennies- Chicken Club Pasta Salad
The Lean Green Bean- Chicken Pasta Salad with Salsa Hummus Dressing
Asian Chicken Pasta Salad
For The Dressing
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 pinch dry ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
For The Salad
- 16 ounces spaghetti pasta noodles cooked as per the directions on the package, drained and cooled
- 3 cups pulled rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup red pepper slices cut thinly
- 1/2 cup green pepper slices cut thinly
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1 small carrot thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon roughly chopped peanuts
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Cracked black pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients for the dressing and pulse in a blender or food processor until well combined. Set aside
Place the cooled pasta into a large bowl.
Add a little dressing and toss to loosen up the noodles from each other.
Add the chicken, red and green sliced peppers, green onion, carrot, cilantro, peanuts and chili flakes.
Pour in more of the dressing but not all of it.
Toss well making sure all of the pasta has been covered.
Add more dressing if you prefer, this is optional.
Taste the salad and add some black pepper.
Serve on a large platter or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.